ALEX Lesson Plan


College Bound: Moving Out!

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Connie Morrow
System: Lauderdale County
School: Rogers High School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 29398


College Bound: Moving Out!


High school student's research preparing to leave home, for the workforce or college. This lesson has a financial aid component to determine financial needs for attending college. Students will learn to make informed decisions about renting a place to live and obtaining a credit card as they become more independent.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
HUM (9-12) Life Connections
3. Develop a career plan, portfolio, and résumé based on personal interests and abilities.
  • Evaluating career paths in relation to personal interests and abilities
  • HUM (9-12) Life Connections
    9. Explain responsibilities of parents in preparing their children to leave home.
    HUM (9-12) Housing
    3. Determine procedures for acquiring housing, including interpreting legal agreements in real estate transactions, analyzing financing options, and comparing advantages and disadvantages of renting and owning a home.
    ELA2015 (9)
    4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone). [RL.9-10.4]
    ELA2015 (9)
    5. Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise. [RL.9-10.5]

    Local/National Standards:

    Family and Consumer Sciences Standards: 1.1.6, 2.1.1, 2.1.5, 2.1.7, 2.3.1, 2.5.1, 2.6.1, 3.3.6, 3.3.7.

    National Council on Economic Education Teaching Standards: 3.

    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will:

    • Compare universities on the criteria cost of tuition, housing, transportation, and textbooks.
    • Identify advantages and disadvantages of renting a living space.
    • Justify reasons for choosing where to live.
    • Interpret a lease agreement.
    • Select an apartment, dorm room or house that best suits wants and needs.
    • Analyze credit card offers, select the best option, and plan to use it sensibly.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

    Essential Question:

    1. How does one determine if they are prepared to move out of the house away from parents? What needs to be considered before taking action? Should personal emotions be a factor?
    2. What are problems associated with a young person having a credit card? Can irreparable damage result from overextending credit limit at an early age?

    Career and Technical Student Organization activity: Officers of Family Community and Career Leaders of America prepare a presentation on using credit cards sensibly to be presented to the membership.


     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    Time Not Specified

    Materials and Resources:

    • Newspaper classified ads.
    • CD, "Hit the Road Jack," by Ray Charles or the lyrics printed from an on line site.
    • DVD, Failure to Launch, or excerpts of the movie from an on line site.

    Technology Resources Needed:

    • Computer with Internet access for each student.
    • Computer connected to an LCD projector.
    • Video camera.


    • View the J.K. Rowling commencement speech to Harvard graduates and be prepared to discuss important points.

    • Print copies of worksheets to be used in this lesson. Copy the following forms-College Planning Checklist Time-line, College Comparison Worksheet, College Application Checklist, Entrance Requirements Form and Financial Aid.


    Part One

    Inspiration for Higher Education:

    Students view the commencement speech for Harvard graduates given by J.K.Rowling entitled, The Fringe Benefits of Failure, the Importance of Imagination.

    Write a summary about what this speech meant to you. How much influence does your family have on the vocation in life you plan to pursue. What did J.K. Rowling say was one of the greatest tragedies a person could choose?

    5+10 Class discussion of this inspiring speech. How has it affected what you foresee as a meaningful future.

    Parents have had approximately eighteen years to mold you into the person you are. Now you are about to be on your own. Some students don't realize college is an option for them, and plan to go straight into the workforce. After completing this lesson each person in this classroom will understand a higher education is possible and the necessary steps to make it happen. The first step of this process is to find out what each person's special interests, skills and abilities are by completing a personality assessment.

    1. Personality Assessment for Career Selection.

    Students complete an on-line personality assessment. Summarize the results. Create a career plan based on skills, interests, and the results of the personality test. Then use this information to determine which colleges offer training in the selected field of study.

    2. College Search.

    College selection can be based on many criteria including family legacy, football team allegiance, and proximity to home, or college academic ranking. There are advantages of going to college where your family members are alumni, such as alumni scholarships, but you should select a college based on academic excellence in your field of study, the atmosphere of the college campus and competency of the professors. Tour the campus to determine if the university appeals to you. Some colleges are in a rural setting whereas others are in an urban environment. Check several options before making a decision.

    Access information to review and fill out the College Planning Checklist Time-line, and College Comparison worksheet. Select the appropriate section that applies to the educational training desired. There is a category for four year universities, community colleges, on-line colleges, and vocational/career colleges.

    5+2 Discussion about the following: In-state vs out-of-state tuition, and public vs private colleges. Does it make a difference how the college is ranked, or if it is accredited? 

    Use the comparison worksheet to research colleges on the criteria of: cost of tuition, housing, transportation, and academic ranking. Select a college based on research and write a brief summary about your selection. Justify reasons for your decision. Share decision and reasoning with your class. Ask the class which type of institutions tuition cost more public or private, based on their research.

    3. College Admittance.

    Utilizing the Application Checklist and Entrance Requirements Form, begin the process of checking off personal progress from these lists. Continue to use these checklists through the application and acceptance process to avoid missing deadlines.

    Discuss possible ways to bring up ACT and SAT scores to be eligible to attend a university, or to be competitive for scholarships. The library has several books with practice questions to prepare for these tests. There are on-line sources to prepare for the tests. One source offers a $200 money back training program that guarantees a two point rise in one's ACT score.

    Discuss how to write an essay to be competitive for scholarships. The first few sentences should capture attention. Focus on your best characteristics. Check grammar and punctuation.

    Write an essay using the guidelines and tips offered online at the web links essay tips and sample essay to write an essay for college entrance.

    4. Financing College

    Calculate Expected Family Contribution using the online calculator or additional link. You need to know how much your family is expected to pay toward your education based on the criteria evaluated. Students use the form Financial Aid to record amounts available from colleges of interest to the student.

    Apply for free money to further your education first. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at the web link FAFSA. Students will need to have a PIN number, social security number, W2 forms, prior years income tax forms and current bank statements from parents. If parents want this information kept private, a practice application can be done using fictitious data. Discuss how comfortable each student is at this point with applying for financial aid and completing the application to attend college. Encourage students to check on renting textbooks oposed to purchasing to save money.

    View a You Tube rap "FAFSA Hooray," Relax a Charta Squad Exclusive about the importance of filling out the FAFSA form. Assign students to work in groups of four or five, to develop a rap video presentation to be televised once a week during the month of January on the school broadcast network. This presentation is to encourage classmates to fill out the FAFSA in a timely manner. Instructions and a grading rubric are attached, "FAFSA Video Rubric."


    Project the poem, If, by Rudyard Kipling on the whiteboard using a computer and LCD projector. Students read and write a summary revealing the meaning of the poem from their perspective. Are there any indications parents are responsible for shaping children into a productive adult? Poem attached, "If."

    Part Two

    Bell ringer: Play the song, "Hit the Road Jack" as students enter the classroom, or have the lyrics available to view. Ask students if they believe their parents are ready for them to move out on their own? Would that change if they were still living with their parents at thirty years of age? Forty years of age?


    Is it exciting to think about having a place of your own? Consider some of the adjustments that will have to be made when moving from a home to a smaller apartment. Everything one owns cannot be brought to college due to space limitations. Living in a college setting requires having a roommate for most students who are on a limited budget. This definitely is an adjustment from living with family members. Responsibility using a credit card is part of becoming independent. Let's investigate what one needs to know before moving out on their own.

    1. Finding a Place to Live:

    Students analyze housing options available in their prospective college community. Use the attached handout, "Housing Options Analysis: College Student." Students will check classified ads or the Internet for several different types of rental properties. Develop a list of important considerations from the entire class such as: Is noise level important? What about having pets? Are all residents single? Is the Internet available?

    Utilizing the Internet and a university Web site show students the difference in dorms for honor students compared to regular students. The conditions are very different in many circumstances. Use this to encourage high school students to excel. Make students aware that studies indicate students who live on campus make better grades than students who live off campus.

    2. Understanding the Lease.

    Instruct students to review the web link: Consumer Jungle. Complete the attached worksheets: "Landlord Tenant Sample Lease Agreement," and "Landlord Tenant Lingo Sheet," under the tab Independent Living. The answer key is available at the same Web site however, log in as an instructor.

    Who is responsible for what? Landlord or tenant. Students go to the Consumer Jungle web link: click on the tab, Independent Living, click on quiz, "You Be the Judge," rule on the scenarios presented. These are ordinary problems that occur with renting; the student must decide how they would rule as a judge. The program lets one know if the ruling was correct or not. This is a game similar to the court TV programs. Print score. Under the heading quiz, also take the vocabulary quiz and print score.

    Instruct students to review and keep a copy of the attached handouts, "Checklist of Rental Property Condition," and "College Moving Checklist," to use when the time comes to actually move into a dorm or an apartment.

    Choose a place to live that best suits needs based on the amount of money available to spend on housing. Discuss what amount is available with parents. A roommate can help lessen expenses. Purchase renter's insurance to cover personal property away from your parent's home. Write a brief description of the rental property selected, include cost of the space and criteria that caused the selection.

    3. Students view segments of the movie, Failure to Launch. Answer questions from the attached handout, "Failure to Launch." Discuss as a class why the main character in this movie did not have a desire to move out of his parent's home. Discuss the mother's greatest fear, as it pertains to her son's independence.

    4. Obtaining a Credit Card

    Students evaluate major credit card data to determine which one suits their needs. Check the following: annual percentage rate of interest charged, yearly user's fee, penalties for late payment, grace period, minimum payment, and total credit line.

    Students view the media presentation, "Credit Cards: What You Need to Know," attached as 2010 cc slides. Use the web link Dollars and Sense to do some interactive activities at the following sections: Charge game, Learn More about Credit and Time Warp. Report to class any lessons learned about credit cards after watching the media presentation and completing the interactive games.

    Over-spender statements: Beware of credit cards if these statements sound like you: Spending money makes me feel good; I rarely balance my checking account; I frequently find myself borrowing small increments of money; It makes me feel uncomfortable to talk about money; It is very difficult for me to save money; I live a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle; I have had to pay a late fee on a bill before. If several of these sound like you, write, "Warning, Overuse is Dangerous," on your credit card.

    Students discuss as a class what they learned about the pros and cons of credit cards. Use the Internet to compare credit card offers. Students select one justify reasons for their selection in a brief summary. Share with the class.

    Lessons learned from this research. Can you afford to move out? Are you responsible enough to have a credit card in your possession? How confident are you with selecting a rental property?

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    Assessment Strategies

    • Summary of the J.K. Rowling commencement speech is a daily grade.
    • The personality assessment is a daily grade.
    • The essay for college is a test grade.
    • The worksheets: College Comparison, College Planning Checklist Time-line, College Application Checklist, Entrance Requirements, and Financial Aid are all daily grades.
    • The video rap performance is a test grade.
    • The summary of the poem, "If, is a daily grade.
    • "Housing Options Analysis: College Student," worksheet is a test grade.
    • "You Be The Judge," online score is a daily grade.
    • Sample Lease application is a daily grade.

    Online vocabulary quiz score is a daily grade.

    The Failure to Launch movie guide is a daily grade.

    The credit card summary is a daily grade. 


    Instruct students who complete the lesson early to review the web link Consumer Jungle, click on Independent Living, click on worksheets, "Surviving a Roommate," follow the instructions.



    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.